Date palms are dioecious, which means that there are both male date palms and female date palms. After reaching maturity, the male date palm yields flowers that produce the pollen, and the female date palm yields flowers which will become dates, if they are pollinated. The photo at left shows a mature male date palm standing about 18 feet tall. Mature male date palms usually produce from 5 to 10 large flowers each year. The flower stalks of both male and female date palms are produced inside a spathe. The spathe emerges from the axils of the leaves in early spring in mature date palms.
Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the . Mature date palms can produce – lb (70– kg) of dates per harvest season, although they do not all ripen at the same time so several. Male date palms are often used in landscaping because once mature they do not yield the annual crop of dates which can attract pests if not.
Tens of thousands of mature date palm trees have been transplanted from fruit-producing orchards in the Coachella Valley into urban coastal Southern California landscapes. From lemons to loquats, it's common to see fruit trees with an abundant, but unpicked, harvest. Urban fruit often goes to waste, whether on a neglected backyard tree or in a public setting. Under-utilized urban fruit trees have gotten some attention in the Los Angeles area in recent years, with projects like Fallen Fruit , a collective that maps fruit trees growing in public spaces, and Food Forward , a non-profit that harvests unwanted fruit and donates it to food banks.
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The date season really begins early in the year when we clean up the trees after the end of the dormant period. At this time, we have to start by cutting the thorns off of the date fronds. They say that everything in the desert protects itself by stinging, biting, or poking. And the date trees are no different.